Construction sites are some of the most dangerous work environments in the world, and the fatalities associated with them seem to keep rising. Fortunately, there are ways to prevent serious injuries and death— or at the very least, minimize the amount of injuries and deaths that result from construction accidents.
Here are 10 ways to minimize the risk of construction-related injuries and deaths.
#1: Don’t Skip the Inductions
All construction sites are required to have a site induction. Site inductions ensure that all employees are familiar with the layout of the construction site and aware of their responsibilities and the risks associated with them. When all workers know where they’re supposed to be, what they’re supposed to be doing, and how to safely go about their tasks, there leaves little room for accidents to occur.
#2: Always Wear Your PPE
PPE (personal protective equipment) consists of things like safety goggles, hard hats, and steel-toed boots, and also earplugs, gloves, and reflective vests. PPE must be worn correctly, and it must also be inspected regularly to ensure that it will do its job of protecting workers. This is something that may be reminded of you in your site induction.
#3: Follow All Safety Rules and Regulations
Basic and specific safety procedures should be explained to each worker during the site induction. Construction companies should also put together a risk assessment and management plan. It’s similar to a site induction, except that it explicitly focuses on the risks associated with each construction site and how they can be mitigated or avoided altogether.
#4: Keep the Construction Site Clean
Construction sites are notorious for being covered with dust and debris, but another issue lies with material, equipment, and even people cluttering and crowding the site. There should never be people on construction sites (whether workers or bystanders) who aren’t needed on site, and all construction workers should make an effort to keep the site clear of tools, materials, and equipment. Also, make an effort to clean up the dust and debris that is inevitable.
#5: Inspect the Construction Site and Equipment Often
The construction site and the equipment used on it, along with PPE, should be inspected every day. Machines, tools, and other equipment won’t last forever, so it’s essential that you make sure that none of your equipment is defective. Defective equipment creates an unsafe work environment.
#6: Never Work in Unsafe Areas
Speaking of unsafe work environments, defective tools, materials, and equipment should never be used. Although the majority of construction-related injuries and deaths are falls, the next categories are being struck by an object, being electrocuted, and being caught between objects. Collapsing structures and falling from a height are also very common occurrences in unsafe construction areas.
#7: Use the Correct Equipment
Don’t try to cut corners and use equipment for projects that require something different. When you use the right tools and materials, the project moves along more efficiently by getting done, quickly, correctly, and safely.
#8: Don’t Try to Fix Equipment
Unless you know exactly how to fix a faulty tool or piece of equipment, you should leave it alone. Tampering with faulty equipment can often make the problem worse, and the work environment even more unsafe than it previously was. Instead, report faulty equipment to a supervisor.
#9: Don’t Put Yourself (or Others) at Risk
Although you’re responsible for your own behavior, everyone on a construction site is responsible for each other’s safety when working cohesively as a team. Don’t cut corners to try and get work done faster, as this poses a threat to you and those around you. It’s also necessary to make sure everyone else is following all safety procedures, in addition to following them yourself.
#10: Report Defects, Unsafe Behaviors, and Accidents
In the same way you should report defective equipment, you should also report any unsafe behaviors that you witness, as well as accidents— even if they’re minor. Most construction companies require a near-miss form to be filled out when a minor accident occurs. Injured workers are also entitled to workers’ compensation benefits to help with medical costs and missed wages, if necessary. Contact Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers at https://www.rosenfeldinjurylawyers.com/construction-injuries.html for more information regarding construction accidents.
If you’re not sure about something, it’s okay to ask someone who is more knowledgeable. Construction workers shouldn’t be put down or made to feel bad about asking questions— these questions can prevent a serious injury and even save a life.